West Virginia Secretary of State Race

Associated Press // Published April 12, 2008
Updating campaign finance laws, improving voter turnout and changing the way polling places are run are some of the ideas from those wanting to become West Virginia's next Secretary of State.

Unlike the 2004 primary when a large group of candidates sought to take over for Joe Manchin after he ran for governor, only three Democrats and one Republican are running in the May 13th primaries.

They are seeking to replace Republican incumbent Betty Ireland, who decided not to seek a second four-year term.

Former television broadcaster Natalie Tennant is up against two Statehouse veterans -- House Majority Leader Joe DeLong and Senate Majority Whip Billy Wayne Bailey.

Republican Charles Minimah is unopposed in the primary. The Secretary of State's office oversees elections, registers businesses and maintains state records.

DeLong and Bailey believe voluntary spending limits within the state's campaign code are outdated. They'd like to see the limits increased, along with the $1,000 limit on individual contributions in state campaign law.

Building the voter database and fighting voter apathy is high on every candidate's to-do list.

Tennant sees hiring representives of civic groups such as Lions Clubs and Little Leagues as a way to overcome a shortage of poll workers and raise money for those groups.